We thrive off expectations. In life, we go through our daily routines based on a system of expectations and consistency.
Why? Because consistency is comfortable.
Consistency and expectations play a similar role in the restaurant industry. Everyone has a set of “go-to” restaurants that they’ll default to. They’ll try new places every now and then, but it’s much easier to stick to a place that they’re already familiar with. It’s a known quantity.
For years, franchises and chains have thrived off this set of expectations. Out of town for business? New to an area? On vacation? It doesn’t matter what your reason be, chains have historically filled customer expectations because of their consistency.
You’ll get the exact same fajitas from Chili’s whether you’re in California, New York, South Carolina, and so on. It’s consistent, it’s comfortable, and customers don’t have to overthink a thing. When you have a set of expectations that are guaranteed to be met, you’ll never be disappointed.
Enter the era of online reviews. Thanks to digital platforms like Yelp, Facebook, and Google, discovering a restaurant that fits your exact tastes – your precise expectations – has become a much more achievable task. Now, thanks to the power of the Internet, consumers can find the best fajitas in town with minimal effort. They can even check the menu online! They can pinpoint exactly what they want to order – and how much they’ll want to spend before they’ve even walked into a restaurant for the very first time.
For some restaurants, this presents a big opportunity to compete. The digital landscape means that a small, local joint suddenly has the capability to compete with the big chains in town on an entirely new level. When a potential customer checks Yelp searching for a bite to eat, they’ll see that the local place has excellent reviews – far better than the competition. One quick look at your menu, and suddenly they’re on their way to eat at your restaurant.
On the flip side, for franchises, it means it’s time to start competing harder. Your digital presence matters. You can still benefit from consistent customer expectations by leveraging digital to build a community of consistent customers.
One tactic that a lot of franchise locations try is creating an individual Facebook page that’s separate from the corporate-run account. You can use this page to promote events and put the community spotlight directly on your location. I’ve seen a lot of locations do it successfully. You can too.
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Our state-of-the-art service employs advanced WiFi, SMS, and Email marketing solutions to get the positive buzz going for your restaurant, whether it be in-store or out. We’ll get you more followers on social media, loyalty club members, and better reviews – all automatically! With CoGoBuzz, we’ll help your restaurant succeed by turning first-time customers into consistent, loyal customers. Check out the rest of our website to learn more about CoGoBuzz!
What has your restaurant done to create consistent customers? Let us know in the comments!